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County's GIS team honored
551 600 giffingham co
ESRI president Jack Dangermond, center, congratulates Effingham County GIS project manager Kresha Jones-Aycock and GIS technician Araya Araya for their special achievement in GIS award. - photo by Photo submitted

San Diego, Calif. — Effingham County stood out from more than 300,000 organizations worldwide that use geographic information system (GIS) software to make a difference in the world. ESRI presented the organization with a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award at the 27th Annual ESRI International User Conference in San Diego on June 20.

“ESRI recognizes the passion of our very special users with our Special Achievement in GIS award,” said Jack Dangermond, ESRI president. “The effectiveness of these people to infuse our technology into their real world contexts creates meaning for our efforts. For this we are grateful.”

GIS is a software tool for exploring geographic relationships to better understand how the world works and how it is evolving, connecting and changing. Virtually unlimited amounts of information can be linked to a geographic location, allowing users to see regions, counties, neighborhoods and the people who live in them with clarity to solve real-world problems from tracking delivery vehicles to modeling global atmospheric circulation. Government agencies, businesses, nonprofits and other organizations rely on the software to analyze their communities and make better decisions for their well-being.

Effingham County remained a rural community until the late 1990s when its population started to increase dramatically. With a growth rate exceeding 25 percent, the county became the 12th fastest growing county in Georgia. This growth required the local governments and municipalities to provide more services to their citizens.

The county relied on GIS technology to help meet these new demands. The county’s GIS Department uses GIS as a tool for mapping and analyzing all data types in order to make better decisions for the county and to distribute maps and information across the region.

The local governments use this information for various projects, such as fire hydrant mapping, storm water mapping, flood zone awareness, industry location planning, road improvements, zoning and many other areas.

Other organizations being honored at the 2007 ESRI International User Conference include Society for Conservations GIS, Kenya; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service; The Lyse Energi, Norway; Illinois Department of Transportation; Ball State University and Afterimage GIS; and the Kentucky Department of Public Health.